International. In a study published by the Society for Air Conditioning for Vehicles (MACS), some Chinese vehicles are sent to South America with a different type of refrigerant gas than most technicians are accustomed to seeing. In this case, it is a mixture refrigerant called R-415B.
The sightings of vehicles with this refrigerant were reported for the first time to MACS at the beginning of 2017 by members of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
Marketed in Uruguay as the "Glory", this unibody passenger van for 7 passenger is manufactured by Dongfeng Xiaokang Automobile Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of DFM (Dongfeng Motor Corporation) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The vehicle information label shows that it has the Chongqing Xiaokang engine of 109 horsepower, 1.5 liters and 4 cylinders.
The R-415B is a zeotropic refrigerant of HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon), which consists of a 25% of R-22 and an 75% of R-152a. It is an ODS (substance that depletes the ozone layer) of class II with an ODP (depletion potential of the ozone layer) of 0.013, and as such is controlled by the Montreal Protocol.
It also has a GWP (global warming potential) of 550, which means that it is 550 times more "a global warming gas" than CO2 (carbon dioxide).
Steve Schaeber, technical editor of MACS says that "Until now we do not know much about the system, and we have not been able to connect a refrigerant identifier to verify the composition of the refrigerant. We also do not know the exact type of compressor oil they are using, which is a big question among local technicians. They also want to know if any other vehicle or brand is using R-415B refrigerant, but to date we have not heard of any other. We have also been asked if the R-22 component will attack the hoses and seals, but without knowing the specific suppliers and components involved, we simply do not know to whom these questions should be asked. "
Schaeber also says that there are too many variables at play:
What kind of hoses are being used?
How are they built?
What is the type of oil?
How does it interact with the refrigerant?
What material was used to make the stamps?
Who manufactured the compressor?
In the study it was discovered that the service port connectors are of the same type as those used for the R-134a, and without the proper service equipment (and a supplier for the gas), it is likely that the R-134a will be used as a replacement when necessary.
The author recommends that technicians be careful when servicing these systems, since the R-152a component is flammable.